A sample of 206 Mexican-heritage 7th-grade adolescents attending predominantly Mexican-heritage schools in Arizona was assessed on their linguistic acculturation, perceived parental monitoring, and substance use. One of their parents also reported on their own parental level of acculturation. While greater parental acculturation predicted greater marijuana use, the acculturation gap (child's level of acculturation over and above that of the parent) was not predictive of substance use. There was a significant acculturation gap by parental monitoring interaction for marijuana use, where the negative correlation between parental monitoring and marijuana use was attenuated for parent-youth dyads that exhibited the largest acculturation gap. This suggests that a greater parent-youth cultural distance (the acculturation gap) attenuates that protective effect of parental monitoring on youth marijuana use. Results are discussed in terms of how the acculturation gap increases the risk for problem behaviors in Mexican American adolescents through its effect on family processes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology